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Short rotation coppice tree species selection for woody biomass production in New Zealand

Short rotation coppice tree species selection for woody biomass production in New Zealand

Biomass and Bioenergy 20(5): 329-335

Nine species of Eucalyptus (E. viminalis, E. botryoides, E. camaldulensis, E. grandis, E. macarthurii, E. nitens, E. ovata, E. pseudo-globulus and E. saligna) were compared with one selected species of each of Salix, Acacia (A. mearnsii) and Populus (P. eurasia x yunn) for woody biomass production when grown in a temperate climate under a short rotation regime in a field trial established in September 1990 at the Horticultural Research Station , Aokautere, Palmerston North, in the lower North Island of New Zealand. Ten clones of the promising species E. viminalis were also included in the small plot, randomized block experiment. The trees, planted at a stocking density of 5000 stems/ha, were harvested as single stems at 3 years of age, then again as coppice regrowth following a further 3-year rotation. Tree survival, stump diameters (mm), heights (m), and tree dry weights were measured and used to determine the aboveground biomass yields. The four replicated plots, each with five trees, of E. viminalis 3680, E. botryoides, E. pseudo-globulus and S. matsudana x alba showed no tree mortality even after the second harvest. Most of the other species had over 80% survival rates, E. nitens being the exception at below 50%. Average heights and dry weights of the harvested coppice trees were significantly greater when first harvested as single stems. Mean annual incremental biomass dry matter yields (tdm/ha/year) at the single stem harvest ranged from 2.00 tdm/ha/year for E. nitens up to 39.72 tdm/ha/year for E. viminalis 3683. At the coppice harvest, E. nitens was again the lowest yielding (2.94 tdm/ha/year) with other species ranging up to 50.64 tdm/ha/year for E. pseudo-globulus. On combining total biomass yields from both rotations, most Eucalyptus species produced significantly more biomass than the other genera, with E. viminalis 3678 and E. pseudo-globulus exceeding 35 tdm/ha/year during the 6-year period.

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Accession: 003559436

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DOI: 10.1016/s0961-9534(00)00093-3

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